Monday, 29 August 2011

Innistrad Previews

So it’s finally Inistrad preview time. I’ve been looking forward to an dreading this time in equal measure. It’s good for the obvious reasons, new set, new themes, new monsters (quite literally in this set.) Yet is also marks the summer holidays drawing to a close, which is hardly a fun time. I can’t dwell on that though, but instead I CAN talk about some of the cards revealed at pax.

One of the most important reveals was the night and day mechanic. It’s like flip, but with a twist – there’s something on both sides of the card. Meaning you use proxies or sleeves. It’s interesting, and to be completely honest I’m not sure how I feel. It seems that’s going to have to wait until my first draft event to truly see what it’s like, and drafting, with cards being open, should provide an altogether different experience. Rather than write 500 words on a single card, showing it’s uses in many decks etc, I’ll do a paragraph on a few reveals that I particularly liked or otherwise had reason to pay attention too. I may post a few decks once the whole set is revealed, but basing a deck on a card when half the support is unrevealed seems a tad silly :D
And before I start, a word on how I play. Commander mainly, so I’ll keep that as a main idea, but also play constructed60 and sealed, so I’ll look from all viewpoints really but dedicated competitive. I’m not quite there yet…

Ludevic’s test subject

The first D/N(day/night… hey, Death Note!) card that I really liked the look of was this. Starts off weak, but with a small(well, commander wise) investment you get a massive 13/13. Sure, they could take it out by then, but the same can be said for every card. It seems that blue and green and having a good time bleeding their colour pies as of late – green has been taking a bunch of draw power, and blue has fatties. Don’t believe me?
Take a look back. Stormtide Leviathan is fairly fat, and there are very few other creatures with over 8 power. Who knows, we could be onto something here! But I digress. It’s not quite the Frankenstein’s monster I was expecting from the first blue, but I like it even more. I like how they have shown this mechanic makes sense for more than just werewolves, as forcing an egg to hatch into this is quite fitting.

Elite Inquisitor
It should be noted one of my commander decks is mono white soldiers. I play Kazandu Blademaster, cause he’s awesome, and I look forward to having him gain an ally in this Elite Inquisitor. He’s pretty good anyway, with a nice set of abilities that really look like they belong to a higher mana cost. His protection for the major beasties is also gonna make him a potential threat in the format, certainly in drafts. And outside of the gloomy depths of Innistrad, it’s bound to come in useful here and there.

Olivia Voldaren

Until this card, I didn’t know what top down design was. Not in the sense that I didn’t understand, but that I literally didn’t know. I looked it up, and thought this was a pretty good example. It could have been executed better, but I still love it. I’m self professed to love multicolour cards, so this already has my vote. But then I actually read it, and it’s awesome. You take a bite, gain power from it, and then bring that creature over to your side. Quite fitting. Now, maybe you should have powered up their creature from it becoming a vampire, but maybe that would be a tad overpowered. And you know what, it has construted potential. For a measly two mana it can power itself up and kill a weak creature, or if it survives take control of it. It’s going to be a massive threat for commander perhaps, but I’d like to see how it plays out. If the vampire subtheme is well enough supported this could be a surprise winner. But I hope not so I can pick up one cheap myself!

Enemy Dual Lands

The reason I quote the set, and not the individual revealed Woodland Cemetery, is because they really are similar and what can be said to one will really apply to all, so it’s fair to deal with them all at once. Personally, these are my species of dual land. The reliance on basic lands means you still have to keep the fundamentals in your deck, but allows for some mana fixing when the need arises. Looking back through magic’s land history the bounce lands are perhaps my favourite for longer/multiplayer games due to the card advantage(not technically, but essentially works out that way. I don’t really count mana gen-lands as cards, but that’s another story for another time.) These are definitely my land of choice for constructed. Balanced pretty well and, if I may say so, are the best balance of dual lands to date. There only flaw is that you can only have 4, really wanting some other form of mana fixing, and as a rare opportunity for enemy colours as is I doubt we will see it. All around brilliant though, I’ll be glad to pick up whichever I can find.

Hollowhenge Scavanger

I looked at my previous card choices and saw I had represented every colour but green, yet when it came to choosing one I found myself struggling, even though we have seen 10 green cards, the most so far. I obviously can’t say this speaks for the set as a whole, as 10 cards is a minimal amount, but at least this selection is limited.
And to be honest, I didn’t choose this card because I like it as much – to be honest, I find it quite underwhelming. Yet it is the only card that shows off the morbid ability so far – and that I like a lot. In its current form it is underwhelming to say the least, but It has potential I really like. There could be a card that says “Morbid- Whenever a nontoken creature dies this turn, put a 2/2 Black zombie into play”. Perhaps not in those words, but you get my meaning. It has potential to do some really fun things for the game, and making your opponent think twice about killing your creatures is always a good thing to do – perhaps not in a graveyard set, but none the less! It’s a mechanic I look forward to reading more about as the weeks pass.

I hope you enjoyed this little slice of my mind in relation to the new set. I don’t really have any magic-liking followers (yes, that is a hint) so the standard “If you like it, I’ll do more” can’t really apply. Instead, I’ll say that I WILL being doing more magic related articles in the future. I actually rather enjoyed writing this, so don’t be surprised to see a top 10 cards of the set or even top 5 of each colour – or whatever – come the full spoiler. Until then, *insert cheesy card-related good luck pun here*.

Oh, and by the way, here’s my preview card for the new set. Didn’t I mention I had one?

I doubt I got you, but worth a try. We will probably see SOMETHING like this… but meh, who knows!
Thanks for reading.

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